Flash Fiction Friday: A Fit In Acts
by Chris Meekings
The curtain opens.
The fairies in the audience rustle restless in their seats. They eat sticks of marzipan, noisily.
Enter an announcer. He’s dressed in a full black suit. His hair is immaculate and plastered down to his skull with soup.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” he intones, reading from a thin script which wafts in a breeze that comes from someplace.
“We were to have started with act 1 scene 1. However, since this has been deemed misogynistic and degrading, we will start with act 3 scene 4. Which, as it now appears first, will be called act 1 scene 1, making a grand total of act 4 scene 5.”
ACT 4 SCENE 5
The same afternoon. Enter a room into a man.
“Ouch,” he says, having never had a room enter him before.
And so the world proceeds according to its weigh. The Earth spins, the clouds of noxious sausage gas form. The rain rains, and the pixies try to make shoes for you whilst you sleep.
The man is still confused by the room entering him.
“That’s never happened before,” he says, opening the door in himself.
“Shut that fucking door,” says the goblin within.
The goblin is small and green, with ears that point sideways like ice-cream cones stuck to side of its head.
“Get out,” says the man, gesticulating with his thumb, “this is my chest cavity. You don’t have permission to be in there.”
The goblin gets up from its plushy armchair made from the man’s liver.
“Nonsense, my good man.” the goblin goes to an old bureau and fumbles within.
The man feels a slight nauseous sensation as the goblin riffles through the bureau. His penis becomes erect.
“Here,” says the goblin, producing a sheet of bricks. “There, written in bricks. Colin the goblin can live here.” The goblin, called Colin, points to the bricks.
The man takes the bricks and reads the cement. It does indeed say the Colin has a legal right to live in the man’s chest.
“Well, I never,” says the man.
“Finished?” asks the goblin. “Close the blood door. You’re letting all the bile out.”
The audience fairies laugh at the joke.
The man shuts the door. He has no idea what to do next.
ACT 2 SCENE 3
A different position.
Did you know you don’t have a right to water? Or life? Or love? Or liberty? These are all things made up. We just agree about them. You don’t even have a right to expect the story to make sense. It won’t. Better get used to that idea.
The world turns and the dandelion clocks tick on. Trees rut in the hedgerows. When you have hay-fever, that’s trees ejaculating up your nose. When you eat nuts, you’re eating infant trees and plants. They scream when you bite down.
And the fairies cry.
The grass blows in the wind, the wind which whips across the face of the world. The wind has been everywhere, it’s seen it all. Navies labouring to make iron railways to scar the landscape. Kings and queens eating blackbird pie. Fairs and churches and people, people, people. People at parties wearing masks to hide who they are, which reveals who they really are.
The man walks on, through the dying sunlight on an autumn afternoon, kicking dead leaves with his old dusty boots. He won’t find what he’s looking for. She will never come back, that whore with the dyed hair the colour of red flames. He will miss her forever, but she will not return. All he has is his old photographs and bifocal memories. Memories of the tumble and sweat between the cotton sheets in her room. The love and the thrust and the copper taste of her skin.
All that is gone now, as he walks and kicks the fallen leaves in the autumn light. The wind bites his hands numb. He clenches them, as he once did around her throat, as she came hard.
He cries, full of the loss of her. And words spill from him like water.
“I miss you. I love you. I want you, forever.”
But, she doesn’t reply. And the trees sway and spill their seeds and leaves at his feet.
He takes his thin-bladed knife from his pocket. It is old and angry and has grey string wrapped around the handle. He pulls the blade free and cuts a deep groove across his forearm.
The blood floods up, bubbles up, from below. He lets it drip, drip, drip down into the mess of leaves at his feet.
And the fairies cry.
ACT 5 SCENE 1
Midnight in the garden.
The soft owl howls at the moon. The hedgehogs snuffle in the eaves, and the bats dig their holes.
The graveyard is quiet as the two lovers meet. They are naked. Their skin is pale and goose-flesh prickles over them. They lie on the graves of scholars and vicars and fuck to keep themselves alive.
He touches her breast, and she sighs. She holds his head and then wrenches it free. He smiles. She licks the stump of his neck and he sighs to feel so alive.
The fairies watch on, disgusted yet still masturbating.
The clock strikes 23 and half minutes past 2. Time is important. Neither of the lovers wish to be late.
So they fuck on, in earnest. Pale backsides to the moonlight. And the owl howls.
ACT 1 SCENE 2
The happiness rats tap dance on the bar. The drinkers watch and applaud their cleverness..
They lift their pints of gasoline and quaff to the merry dancers.
Small dogs bark and bite at the heels of the drinkers, wanting their attention. But the rats are entrancing.
The piper walks amongst the crowd, unseen.
He places thin hands inside the pockets of all the patrons. Stealing their wares and chattels, milk and green sunlight.
He places his stolen prizes in his knapsack made from kisses and mist. And the rats dance on.
The pipers turns sideways and falls through the cracks in the floor. Down, down, down to the sewers. He meets the sad sewer babies there. They are pale, and fat like grubs. Blind in all their eyes. They cry and mewl amongst the sewer stench, and ask how did they get here?
The piper plays songs on a tin whistle, and the babies slowly drop to sleep amongst the sewer grunge and grot.
Newspapers flow down the stream of effluence near the babies. The piper reads the headlines “world at war”, “war at world”, “never again tell a lie”. It makes no sense to the piper. Who cares about world affairs?
He unscrews his kneecaps and takes out the brandy. He drinks, long and deep. Filling his belly with the fire liquid.
He belches long and hard.
The fairies watch on, wishing they could help and alleviate the suffering of the world. They cannot. They are just spectators.
Drip drip drip, the sad ticking of the sewer clock.
ACT 3 SCENE ?
The stochastic punch of the typewriter. W B 69 T F G.
Drat! This typewriter cannot spell. I pull the skin from my fingers looking for a thesaurus and spell checker.
The fairies watch. They applaud the effort, if not the actual attainment.
We all must atone for what we do. Leaving pain streaks down the messy highway of our lives. Deep dark tear tracks of acid spill from my eyes. And the gibberish words rip from my chest in emotional torrents.
I love you. I miss you. I wish I could have been better. I wish I was more of what you want, and less of what I am.
But that’s everyone’s wish, in the darkness of our own lonely single minds. Bedrooms, filled with books and CD’s and things we bought trying to fill the holes others have left.
The fairies clap harder now.
I do believe in humans. I do believe in humans.
The sun is almost at the horizon. About to crack and break, forming the new day. The curtains are far away, but I reach for them. They are old and tattered and moth-eaten and threadbare. I grab at the dust and pull.
I cough and spit and pull back the window. The air is cool and cathartic. It’s the time before people wake. The world is still. And the sun peaks up.
I can feel its warmth.
“Did we miss it?” the girl with the flame hair asks, nestled in the cooling sheets.
“No,” I say, hearts exploding from my chest. “we’re perfect.”
The fairies, clap and hoot and whistle as the curtain begins to close.
Chris Meekings is an amalgamation of 58 weasels in a trench-coat. He is currently hunted for sport in the county of Gloucester in the good old UK. In his spare time, between hunts, he writes things…terrible things….you probably shouldn’t read them….you won’t like them….he’s been writing since before he could spel. He still cannut spel.